09.26.06

Garry Mauro, Crosses Over

Posted in Around The State, Road Issues at 9:21 am by wcnews

Now I don’t want to get into a whole DLC/corporatist Democrat debate here, but this is just sad, Our roads can’t handle new traffic.

If Central Texans are to maintain the quality of life we have come to enjoy and expect, we need to address questions about traffic congestion using all the tools at our disposal. Investing in smart-road technologies, such as synchronized traffic lights, computerized systems to route traffic around congested areas, reversible commuter lanes, and movable barriers that add road capacity during peak hours of travel will help. It is also important to make sure that we can build the roads and bridges that people need and want.

Some people would reject that idea and say we can’t build enough roads to relieve all the traffic congestion we face. Others go so far as to say that roads themselves cause traffic congestion.

[...]

I am not suggesting that roads are the only answer, but the reality is that for the immediate future — for commuters and the economic interest of Central Texas — new roads are the answer. We need a balanced approach that includes expanding our public transit system, improving our current roadways, using them more efficiently, and, where appropriate, building roads. We need to use some creativity when thinking about congestion. The Trans Texas Corridor is a prime example of an innovative solution and deserves very serious consideration.

By providing a statewide network of transportation, this multimodal system could allow for much faster and safer transportation of people and freight. It could relieve congested roadways. It could improve air quality by reducing emissions, and provide a safer, more reliable utility transmission system. It could keep hazardous materials out of populated areas. It could expand economic growth and develop new markets and jobs. And it could help Texans quickly get out of harm’s way in the case of an approaching flood or other disaster. Can you imagine how helpful this system would have been for many of our fellow Texans on the Gulf Coast trying to escape the dangers of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita?

It’s simply not realistic to think we can expand Interstate 35 by 10 lanes through Austin, Pflugerville and Round Rock without causing significant economic dislocation. As proposed, the Trans Texas Corridor would be built to the east of these communities diverting commercial and truck traffic around our congested communities. The corridor would include separate lanes for passenger vehicles, large trucks, freight railways, commuter railways, and a specific utility corridor that could accommodate water, oil and gas, electricity and telecommunications.

Addressing the challenges of population growth is important, and it is refreshing to see Texas Department of Transportation officials thinking creatively about possible solutions such as the Trans Texas Corridor. It could pave the way to Texas’ future.

I don’t know who the “some people” straw man is he’s referring to but I think most people’s problem with this is the unaccountable way this is being done and the fact that of selling off people’s farmland to corporations – foreign and domestic. He never even mentioned those issues. Once again, most people don’t have a problem with toll roads, per se. What they have is a problem with the way this deal has been done, that what has everybody in an uproar. Build a new system of roads in Texas with total community involvement with the money for the roads staying in Texas and the reaction would be completely different. Garry Mauro knows that.

2 Comments »

  1. Susan Garry said,

    September 26, 2006 at 10:04 am

    Several days ago the Statesman ran an anti-Corridor column by Strayhorn, with a pro-Corridor column right under it. Now, they have come back with a stand-alone pro-Corridor column by Mauro. I wish the Statesman would have at least remained even-handed about the Corridor on their opinion page.

  2. Eye on Williamson » TxDOT Paying $1.5 Million To Lobby Congress said,

    February 2, 2007 at 8:48 am

    [...] Right, they’re lobbying on the gas tax. While you’re working on that gas tax don’t forget about a little thing called the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC), if you know what’s good for you. (Remember Garry Mauro’s pro-TTC editorial?) Gas tax, come on. [...]

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

7ads6x98y